The daily Big Bash League preview charges down the wicket with BBL tips for a blockbuster between Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder.

BBL Tips – Sydney Thunder V Melbourne Stars

19:15 (AEDT), Tue 29th Dec @ Manuka Oval, Canberra

History: Played 13: Stars 7 V Thunder 6

Last meeting: December 12, 2020: Stars d Thunder by 22 runs at Manuka Oval

Final Thoughts: Sydney Thunder and Melbourne Stars have both staked an early claim as BBL title contenders. The in-form sides’ second clash off BBL|10 in Canberra could shake up the pointy end of the Big Bash table.

The Stars put away the Thunder by 22 runs at Manuka Oval on the first weekend of the season. Marcus Stoinis (61 off 37) steered the Stars to 8/169, while Callum Ferguson (54 off 35) produced a fine captain’s knock in the Thunder’s unsuccessful run-chase.

Melbourne’s subsequent fixture against Perth Scorchers was ultimately rained off. The Stars then went down to the Sixers by one-wicket in an absolute classic on Boxing Day. A sensational 125-run partnership from Glenn Maxwell (71* off 47) and West Indies import Nicholas Pooran (65 off 26) lifted the Stars to 5/193, but the Sixers ran them down with one ball to spare in the BBL|09 final replay.

The Thunder have gone on a three-match tear since their loss to the Stars. After running down the Heat (4 wickets) and Scorchers (7 wickets) while batting second, they destroyed the Renegades by 129 runs on Boxing Day.

Oliver Davies (48 off 23) top-scored, while all of the Thunder’s top four scored over 30 in a season-high total of 8/209. Tanveer Sangha (4/14) ripped through the Renegades batting line-up to dismiss them for just 80.

These teams also squared off in last season’s playoffs. Nick Larkin (83* off 49) and Haris Rauf (3/17) led the Stars to a 38-run victory and a place in the BBL|09 final.

But the in-form Thunder are tempting value as $2.12 outsiders to snap their five-game losing streak against the Stars. Thunder opener Alex Hales made a promising 35 off 21 (after consecutive ducks) and will be a key figure on Tuesday night.

Tip: Alex Hales Total Runs – Over 34.5 @ $2.55